Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in finance but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Stickel, Founder of Stickel Financial Services, located in Watertown, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I empower heart-centered entrepreneurs to gain clarity and confidence in their business's finances in order to build the success they want to achieve through my month-to-month accounting and tax strategy services.
Tell us about yourself
I found my passion in accounting during my junior of high school and haven't looked back! I worked at a local accounting firm for several years after I received my associate degree, though I always had the desire to have my own business, but I didn't have the confidence. I then gave birth to my first biological child. My pregnancy was rough, and I gave birth six weeks early to my teeny tiny daughter, who is now pretty much bigger than I am at 10 years old. Afterward, I struggled greatly with postpartum depression and paying for daycare. After a year of struggling working full time, earning my bachelor's degree, being a new mom, and the postpartum, I finally decided I needed the break. I quit my job and took a year off to figure myself out again, and my previous boss gave me work on the side, and then I took the plunge.
I started by saying yes to everything and everyone, even if they were not good fits for me. I learned a lot about business and about myself. I spent six years miserable in my business with clients that didn't respect me or appreciate me. I again had to make a huge decision of cutting my income but putting my mental health first. It again paid off. I fired my clients, hired a life/business coach, and started over. I figured out how I work best and who I work best with, and I built on my confidence and self-esteem. I started attracting my ideal clients and haven't looked back!
I now have amazing clients that have built great relationships with me. I know their goals, communicate at their level with them, educate them on their finances and taxes, and they, in return, appreciate, value, and respect me. We have grown together, and I look forward to building new relationships and seeing my clients reach their goals! Oh, I also have THREE kids now, and they truly drive me to do the best I can and teach them they can do anything they put their minds to without losing themselves.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
On top of saving clients several thousand dollars in taxes, my biggest accomplishments as a business owner are the relationships I have built with my clients, helping them reach the next level in their business. On a personal level, my accomplishments are being a good role model for my kids and truly finding myself, and putting myself first.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time management and self-confidence are the hardest things that come along with being a business owner. Time management can be hard because we feel like we always have to be working in and on our business, so finding that balance to spend time doing what we want to have more time for (like spending time with our kids) is super important. Self-confidence is hard to achieve because of social media. There is so much comparison between business owners and mothers that we get really hard on ourselves. However, once we start to have that confidence, it helps us grow and build our business with profits which in turn can help give us better time management by hiring out unwanted tasks.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Put a bookkeeping system in place before you start your business. It doesn't have to be anything fancy! Just find what works best for you, and then SCHEDULE at least 30 minutes a week to focus on your bookkeeping.
- Reconcile your accounts monthly and review your finances AT LEAST once a month! Knowing your numbers can really make or break your business and help you make efficient business decisions.
- You are worth it! Trust yourself! Pay yourself! You are amazing! You wouldn't work for anyone else for free, so why would you put in 100 times more effort and not pay yourself for your own business that you have such passion for? Take the time and figure out how to pay yourself and how much to pay yourself. It will help you feel empowered and have more energy to put back into your business. You are your own investment.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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